This week, in U.S. History and Government we started a project that asks the students to figure out what all of the events/people are in the song. In preparing this lesson I learned that Billy Joel actually wanted to be a history teacher at one point and was shocked when someone told him that nothing happened in the 1950s. So he wrote a song (If you believe Wikipedia that is). I also learned while preparing this is that he actually does it in order by year through the 1950s and 60s. A great place for the lyrics is here because it has the years listed. If you watch the music video that Joel made it is really kind of random and the kids won't fully appreciate the song...so I actually show this historical based video.
So what did we actually do? I passed out the lyrics with a bit of an introduction and we watched the video. Then as influenced by this facts list I split the students into groups and split the lyrics into sections. Each group researched what each person/event was. Later on we will write our own lyrics to the song for present day as influenced by this site.
I was a little bit worried about what the kids would say...it is an old song and maybe not readily appreciated. But they actually thought it was pretty cool and enjoyed the scavenger hunt idea of it. And they actually asked if they could come up with their own and were pleased that eventually we would.
|From the actual video...thank you to http://www.metrolyrics.com/we-didnt-start-the-fire-lyrics-billy-joel.html|